Saudi Arabian energy company Aramco has agreed to acquire a minority stake in liquefied natural gas (LNG) company MidOcean Energy for $500m in a move to foray into the global LNG business.

MidOcean Energy was created and managed by EIG Partners, a US-based institutional investor in the global energy and infrastructure sectors.

Currently, MidOcean Energy is pursuing acquisition of stakes in four LNG projects located in Australia. The move is said to be in line with MidOcean Energy’s growth plans to develop a diversified global LNG business.

MidOcean Energy CEO De la Rey Venter said: “We share the conviction that LNG is an integral enabler of the global energy transition, and we believe that the global LNG industry has strong fundamentals for many decades to come.

“Synergistic partnerships are core to how MidOcean Energy will do business, grow and thrive. In Aramco, we have a partner that has long-term thinking in its DNA and an unwavering commitment to enduring collaborations.”

According to the terms of the agreement, Aramco holds the option to boost its stake as well as associated rights in the LNG company in the future. The agreement marks Aramco’s first international investment in LNG.

The deal is built on the relationship that Aramco has with EIG. The latter was part of a consortium that acquired a 49% interest in the energy company’s subsidiary Aramco Oil Pipelines, nearly two years ago.

Aramco president and CEO Amin Nasser said: “We are pleased to be strengthening our strategic partnership with EIG through this acquisition, which marks Aramco’s first international investment in LNG.

“We anticipate strong demand-led growth for LNG as the world continues on its energy transition journey, with gas being a vital fuel and feedstock in various industries. We believe that gas will be important in meeting the world’s rising need for secure, accessible and more sustainable energy.”

The closing of the transaction is contingent upon conditions including regulatory approvals.

In July 2023, Aramco completed its previously announced $3.4bn acquisition of a 10% stake in Rongsheng Petrochemical, a China-based downstream company.